Friday, September 23, 2011

The Hamamatsu Typhoon

Or "taifun," if you prefer.  Whatever you call it, however you spell it, Typhoon Roke smashed into my old hometown of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, on Thursday, September 22.  One of my good friends actually had to take his dog out for a poop during the storm.  Can you imagine that?  He and the dog are safe, but he told me trees were down, some roofs off houses, windows smashed and motorcycles and bicycles scattered.

I lost count of how many typhoons stuck Japan during the nearly six years I lived there.  Once, when I lived in Toyohashi, one of my co-workers and I were way out in the sticks teaching at a school branch located in a department store when a typhoon blew through.  We didn't know bus service to the train station had been cancelled, so like a couple of goons we stood at the stop for about half an hour before it dawned on us to go to a convenience store and call a cab.  We didn't get back to our apartment until after 11:30pm.  That was the kind of experience you can laugh about later.

Let me just warn you about one thing-- if you're planning on moving to Japan-- it will rain.  And rain.  And rain.  Japan is a very rainy country.  This is fine if you're also from a rainy country.  I'm not.  Riding a bicycle during rainy season, through the outer feeder bands of a typhoon when solid walls of water blow horizontally below your umbrella.  You will more than likely do these things.  Sometimes they're even fun.  Yes, I miss it.

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